Saving the world with LEGO Mindstorms

Author: Lisamarie Schuster
Summary of the Activity Plan

This activity is designed for children who have never been in touch with robotics and/or programming. There is no prior knowledge required and it is suitable for children aged 8 and up. At first, the students get an introduction to robotics in general: What kinds of robots are there in today’s world, what do they think about when they hear the word “robot”? Next, they learn how to drive the robot in different directions: forwards, backwards, curves. In the following part, they can be creative. In an activity called “Save the World”, the children are encouraged to think about problems in today’s world and how robots could solve them. Then, they simulate this task with their own robot by building a claw and attaching it to the base robot. After the robot is programmed, utensils are gathered and maybe the robot is even decorated using paper and pencils, each group presents which problem they chose, explains the simulation and shows it to all the others by executing their program. In the end, the students get a final task in which they have to program the robot to drive accurately along a given path. Depending on the students’ mood, this can be executed in a competition way or just as a normal task.

Type of Activity: Workshop Curriculum Aligned: Not aligned
Subject:
  • Other:
Curriculum and Country:
Language: English
Domains
Science: 2
Business: 0
Technology: 10
Engineering: 6
Mathematics: 0
Arts: 0
Societal Issues: 0
Life Skills: 0
OBJECTIVES AND SKILLS

Subject Related:

- No subject

Skills Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to draw a mindmap.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Creativity
    • Teamwork
  • Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Creativity
    • Teamwork
    • Critical Thinking
    • Problem Solving
  • Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Teamwork
  • Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Teamwork
    • Problem Solving
    ARTIFACTS

    Digital artifacts: programming language (Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment)

    Robotic artifacts: a simple vehicle

    WHO? WHERE? HOW LONG?

    Gender: both

    Age Group: 8 - 13 Years

    Class Size: medium

    (Ideal) Group Size: 2

    (Ideal) Grouping Suggestions:

    Special needs and abilities:

    Environment: classroom,indoor

    Style of room: open space for driving robots, each student should be able to see the screen/blackboard

    Sessions: 1

    Session Duration: 6h00

    Total Duration: 6h00

    INTERACTIONS

    Actions:

    • Exchange ideas
    • Dialogue

    Relationships:

    • Collaborative

    Roles in the group:

    • Emergent roles

    Support by the tutor(s):

    • Monitor
    • Facilitate
    TECHNOLOGY
    Technology Used:
    • Dash & Dot
    • Robotic Dreams
    • MOSS
    • LEGO Mindstorms

    Price per Kit: €301 - €500

    Technology Needed: Computers

    LEARNING AND TEACHING

    Teaching Methods:

  • discussion
  • presentation
  • demonstration by example
  • instruction
  • experimentation
  • HOW TO
    Introduction, brainstorming, mindmap
    Description: Children are asked to introduce their selves by saying their name and describing what they think about when they hear the word “robot”. Afterwards, a brainstorming is conducted about the question: “What are robots?” What do they look like? What are they used for today? What can they be used for in the future? The children are then asked to draw a mindmap about their thoughts about robots.
    Duration: 35 minutes
    Type: Introductory
    Orchestration: Individual work , Group work
    Teaching Methods: discussion
    Subject Related: No subject
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to draw a mindmap. , Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment. , Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project. , Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
    Presentation about types of robots
    Description: The tutor talks about what kinds of robots there are already in today’s world, shows students pictures and asks them what they think these robots are used for.
    Duration: 15 minutes
    Type: Introductory
    Orchestration: Individual work
    Teaching Methods: presentation
    Subject Related: No subject
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to draw a mindmap. , Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment. , Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project. , Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
    Printing their name
    Description: The tutor shows the students which blocks are used for printing text on the controller’s screen. Afterwards, the students experiment on how to make the robot greet one of the group members and then all of the group members.
    Duration: 20 minutes
    Type: Introductory , Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods: demonstration by example
    Subject Related: No subject
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to draw a mindmap. , Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment. , Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project. , Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
    Introduction to driving
    Description: Explanation of the Standard Movement block. Discussion about what the different buttons could be and how changing them (the factors) could influence direction of the movement, speed and how to drive a curve. Afterwards, the students can try modifying these factors and see what they do: driving forward, driving a curve, driving backwards.
    Duration: 20 minutes
    Type: Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods: instruction , demonstration by example , discussion , experimentation
    Subject Related: No subject
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to draw a mindmap. , Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment. , Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project. , Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
    Drive a square
    Description: Students should use their knowledge from the previous phases to drive along a square shape with the robot. In order to be able to do that, they have to be able to drive a perfect 90° curve at first. They have to try out modifying the different factors for doing that.
    Duration: 40 minutes
    Type: Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods: experimentation
    Subject Related: No subject
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to draw a mindmap. , Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment. , Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project. , Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
    Save the world: Introduction
    Description: A brainstorming is conducted about which problems there are in today's world and how robots could help solve them/make the world a better place.
    Duration: 10 minutes
    Type: Introductory
    Orchestration: Individual work , Group work
    Teaching Methods: instruction , discussion
    Subject Related: No subject
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to draw a mindmap. , Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment. , Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project. , Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
    Save the world: Sketch
    Description: The students should think about how to design their robot to complete a task which could save the world. The should draw a sketch of their robot to describe it.
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Type: Reflection , Exploration , Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods: discussion
    Subject Related: No subject
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to draw a mindmap. , Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment. , Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project. , Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
    Save the world: Building and programming the robot
    Description: The students should now try to build and program a simulation of the task that they have chosen. They can use paper and pencils to set up a simulated environment in which their robot performs the task. As a minimum requirement, the students should build a static claw and program their robot in a way that simulates the task that they have chosen.
    Duration: 110 minutes
    Type: Exploration , Experimentation , Construction
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods: discussion , experimentation
    Subject Related: No subject
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to draw a mindmap. , Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment. , Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project. , Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
    Save the world: Presentation of the robot
    Description: One member of each group should now present the group’s robot and explain the task the robot is going to simulate, what the utensils they used should simulate (foam cubes, …) and then execute the program.
    Duration: 20 minutes
    Type: Reflection
    Orchestration: Individual work
    Teaching Methods: discussion
    Subject Related: No subject
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to draw a mindmap. , Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment. , Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project. , Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
    Driving accurately
    Description: A path is taped to the floor. The students should program their robot in a way that it follows this path. The path should contain a lot of different curves, straightforward parts of the same length, only multiplied (for example: line no. 1 is x seconds long, line no. 2 is 3*x seconds long) and could contain a foam cube or something similar that the robot is supposed to push somewhere.
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Type: Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods: experimentation
    Subject Related: No subject
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to draw a mindmap. , Students will be able to program the task in the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment. , Students will be able to plan what their finished robot project should look like, discuss ideas with the group and draw their finished project. , Students will be able to build a claw for pushing items around using Lego parts and to write a program which simulates a task they have chosen.
    ASSESSMENTS

    Save the world: Presentation of the robot: One member of each group should now present the group’s robot and explain the task the robot is going to simulate, what the utensils they used should simulate (foam cubes, …) and then execute the program.

    ATTACHMENTS / SUPPORTING MATERIALS
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    Views: 349
    Author: Lisamarie
    Where does this fit in the ER4STEM Framework?